Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent- 2022

Written on: March 16, 2022

First Reading: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
Psalm 103: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel:   Luke 13:1-9

Written by: Sr. Mary Joan Elias, GNSH

Moses said to God, “But when I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”  God replied:

“I am who Am” Ex 3: 13-14

As we approach the mid-point of Lent, we are asked to repent and embrace the sacrament of healing. We are also confronted with the powerful appearance of God to Moses. In the revelation to Moses in the burning bush, and in the momentous and mysterious identification of the divine name: “I AM,” God tells us he is a powerful force and loving presence in our lives. Each of us has a burning bush inside. It is the place of God’s presence in our quite ordinary moments. His indwelling in our hearts makes our lives an opportunity for sacred encounters. We thank God for the “burning bush” moments we have known. Each one draws us more closely to His heart and increases our awareness of the beauty of God’s eternal faithfulness and loving forgiveness.

The second theme in today’s readings is repentance and the truth that our God is a forgiving God. It is reassuring to know that our bad actions will not turn God into a punitive wizard seeking vengeance for the errors of our way. “Celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation means being enfolded in a warm embrace; it is the embrace of the Father’s infinite mercy.” (Pope Francis).

I am reminded of an incident in my life that still remains with me. I was a freshman in high school. I had an early Glee Club practice and didn’t feel like making my lunch so I took two dollars from my father’s wallet without asking. My covert action haunted me all day. My lunch was unpalatable and my entire day was guilt ridden. I couldn’t wait for my father to get home from work so I could tell him what I had done. He hugged me and forgave me but not without consequence. My “penance” didn’t matter because, despite my wrong doing, my dad loved me.

During the remainder of Lent, let us be in the solitude and stillness of mystery (a gentle space) so that we can resonate with all that cries out for attention from deep within our souls. Let our hearts be set on God and trust in His love and mercy and, above all, let us thank God for the forgiveness and blessings given to us each day.

“0 God, I long to absorb fully your all cleansing love. Open my heart to accept the fresh beginning that your merciful love offers me.” Joyce Rupp- Inviting God In

Photo courtesy of Andy Watkins/Unsplash

4 thoughts on “Reflection for the Third Sunday of Lent- 2022

  1. K.T. CONNOR says:

    Thanks, Joan, for reminding us that God abides in us, whether we happen to be aware of it at the time or not. I’ve got to remember what a burning bush it can be! And I loved your concrete example of repentence. Thanks again.

  2. Barbara Schiavoni says:

    Thank you for sharing these insights Joan. Yes, God comes to us in many different ways: in the burning bush moments that inspire, in the tender embrace of forgiveness, in the quiet where mystery dwells, and so many others.

  3. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you for your reflections. I reread parts of the Bible you referred to as to better understand. Thank you again. You helped me to learn and understand.

  4. Eileen White says:

    Beautiful reflection Joan. Thank you for encouraging us to recognize and recall those “burning bush” moments in our lives when God was revealed in some mysterious way.

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